The news has arrived. 80% of players eat or drink while playing games, says market researcher Newzoo. I could have done this survey myself because I am sure that 80% of us eat or drink while sitting at a computer or using our phones.
But our wider consumption patterns revealed in this survey are interesting, and companies can probably find an opportunity there with the nuances between the different territories. Maybe Electronic Arts and Activision would do better to launch a range of player-themed Frito-Lay chips than a retro sequel.
For example, Western European players are the least likely to eat and drink regularly during play sessions, with 73% consuming regularly during play. Asia Pacific players, on the other hand, enjoy their office, with 84% of them eating or drinking while playing.
In Asia-Pacific, the markets with the highest regular consumption shares are India (94% of players) and Indonesia (93%). At the other end of the spectrum, less than two-thirds of players consume regularly in New Zealand (63% of players) and Singapore (65%).
In North America, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific, more than half (55%) of the players who drink while playing are men. In the three regions, the group most likely to consume is male players between the ages of 21 and 35.
As for women, the largest age group for consumption is also between 21 and 35 years of age in North America (87% of female players) and Western Europe (78% of female players). In Asia-Pacific, however, the 10-20 year age group has a slightly larger share.
Newzoo said it should be noted that these players generally play more often and for longer, which gives them more opportunities to eat and drink while playing.
What do players consume when playing?
Players from North America and Western Europe have similar habits when it comes to regular consumption during the game. Savory snacks (such as fries and crackers) and soft drinks are popular in both markets, soft drinks being slightly more prevalent in Western Europe and salty snacks occupying the first place in North America. (I guess that’s why we are chubby).
The diversity of markets in Asia-Pacific has produced striking results. For example, “other drinks” (such as tea, coffee, tap water, etc.) are the most regularly consumed drink or food in Japan (39%) and Taiwan (51%) while playing .
Meanwhile, in China, sweet snacks (42%) are the No. 2 food and drink most consumed regularly during games, after salty snacks (58%). In other markets in this region, salty snacks and soft drinks are still the most regularly consumed during games.
Women prefer salty snacks
In all three regions, players show a preference for salty snacks during play, while men’s preferences show less concrete patterns. Soft drinks are the most popular among male players in Western Europe (42%); Salty snacks among male players in Asia-Pacific (48%); and soft drinks and savory snacks are also popular among male players in North America (49% each).
The world’s energy drink brands, unite!
In the three regions, the consumption behavior of the different age groups is very diverse. In North America, savory snacks are most commonly consumed among the 10 to 15 player age group (60%), while the 16 to 20 player age group is most common for soft drinks ( 55%).
In Western Europe, however, salty snacks are consumed most regularly among the 10 to 15 and 31 to 35 age groups (42% for both groups), while soft drinks are more common among players from 21 to 35 years old.
In Asia-Pacific, salty snacks are consumed most regularly among 26-30 year olds (55%), while carbonated drinks are most often consumed among 10-15 year olds (43%).
Together, these data points highlight how diverse these regions are – an essential consideration for any snack / beverage business looking to grow in the game and market players of different ages, genders and locations.
Asia Pacific players are much more likely to regularly drink energy drinks while playing. However, the high prevalence in Asia-Pacific is driven by two huge markets: China and India, where 36% and 38% of players regularly drink energy drinks while playing, respectively. On the other hand, only 10% of players in the small Asia-Pacific markets of Taiwan and Australia regularly consume energy drinks while playing.
Those aged 31 to 35 are the most likely to drink energy drinks when playing both in Asia-Pacific (35% of the group consume energy drinks) and in North America (29%). In Western Europe, however, slightly younger players (aged 21 to 25) are the most likely.
Compared to non-players, players have a more positive brand attitude towards energy drink companies in the three regions. The difference is most significant in Western Europe, where 38% of players have a positive attitude towards Red Bull against only 17% of non-players. This means that Red Bull’s years of wooing players with game event advertisements and sponsorships have paid off.
Western Europeans: bring the beer
Among players of legal drinking age in these three regions, regular beer consumption was somewhat more common among players in Western Europe.
Food and beverage brands are starting to see interest in targeting players, particularly when it comes to resonating with consumers who are hard to reach and less interested in mainstream media.